Linux Mint 15 "Olivia", based on Ubuntu 13.04, has been released today and is available, as usual, in two editions: MATE and Cinnamon. Let's take a look at what's new!
Linux Mint 15 "Olivia"
The features below are shared between the two main Linux Mint editions: Cinnamon and MATE.
Linux Mint 15 ships with a new tool that allows you to manage the software sources, called MintSources (shows up as "Software Sources" in the menu), replacing the old Software Sources (software-propreties-gtk) that was shared with Ubuntu:
MintSouces allows you to select the mirrors used for the software sources, with an included speed-test tool that lets you select the fastest mirror, easily enable optional components such as backports or unstable packages, enable source code repositories, there's a PPAs tab that lets you add, edit or remove PPAs, add additional repositories, manage authentication keys and so on. On the "Maintenance" tab you'll find a button to fix common APT problems like MergeList issue or purge residual configuration.
Another new tool that's available in Linux Mint 15 is "MintDrivers", a driver manager (shows up as "Driver Manager" in the menu) that uses the same backend as the Ubuntu Software Sources (which integrates the driver manager now):
Linux Mint 15 ships with some GDM as well as some HTML themes for MDM - here's the default MDM theme and some other MDM HTML themes included by default with Linux Mint 15:
|The default Linux Mint 15 MDM greeter (HTML)|
Among the default MDM HTML themes there's a really nice animated WebGL theme which unfortunately I can't show you here since it would have required a video (and the theme is really slow in VirtualBox).
Besides these new features, MDM has also received many bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements.
Other changes shared between the two Linux Mint 15 editions:
- artwork improvements, including 12 new wallpapers, improved Mint-X theme to make GTK2 and GTK3 applications look more similar, updated Plymouth theme and more;
- MintNanny has been ported to GTK+;
- the Update Manager is now able to refresh the APT cache in user mode;
- the Software Manager now uses automated pagination, supports searching in a certain category, etc.
|Linux Mint Software Manager|
|Linux Mint Software Manager|
|Linux Mint Update Manager|
Both Linux Mint 15 "Olivia" editions share most of the default applications (basically all except for the file manager and other desktop-especific components): Firefox 20.0 (but Firefox 21 is available as an update already), Thunderbird 17.0.6, LibreOffice 4.0.2, GIMP 2.8.4, gThumb 3.0.2, Transmission 2.77, Pidgin 2.10.7, VLC 2.0.6, Totem 3.6.3, Banshee 2.6.0, Tomboy 1.12.0, Brasero 3.6.1, Synaptic 0.80, Mint Backup 2.0.9, Xchat 2.8.8 and more.
Also, since Linux Mint 15 is based on Ubuntu 13.04, it uses the same kernel: 3.8 - based on the upstream Linux Kernel 3.8.8, Xorg server 1.13.3 and Mesa 9.1.1.
Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon edition
Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon edition comes with the latest Cinnamon 1.8, released recently, which introduces some important changes, such as:
- a new Control Center, especially created for Cinnamon;
- a new screensaver created for Cinnamon which is very simplistic and has basically the same features as Gnome Screensaver, from which it was forked, except for an away message feature (display an away message on the lock screen);
- desktop widgets ("Desklets") support;
- install or update "spices" (applets, desklets, themes or extensions) directly from the desktop, via Cinnamon Control Center;
- Nemo, the default Cinnamon file manager has received a lot of improvements, including: better Cinnamon integration, buttons in the statusbar to easily hide the sidebar, switch to treeview, etc., option to hide the menu, collapsable sidebar categories, breadcrumbs, sidebar disk space indicators and more;
- Cinnamon now automatically falls back to Software Rendering (previously known as Cinnamon 2D) when the full Cinnamon is not supported - a critical notification is displayed on startup when running Software Rendering - this usually happens because of a problem with the drivers or if the graphics card doesn't support any acceleration;
- horizontal / vertical maximizing of windows;
Here are some Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon screenshots (note: there are no window shadows because the screenshots were taken in VirtualBox and Cinnamon used the software renderer):
|Online Cinnamon applets|
|Nemo file manager|
|Cinnamon Control Center|
|Cinnamon Control Center (advanced)|
For more about Cinnamon 1.8, including a video and Ubuntu installation instructions, see our article: Cinnamon 1.8 Gets Its Own Control Center And Screensaver, Easier Spices Installation.
Linux Mint 15 MATE edition
|Linux Mint 15 MATE edition with mintMenu|
Linux Mint 15 MATE edition ships with MATE 1.6, released a couple of months ago, which doesn't come with a lot of visible features but there are many under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes. Here are the Linux Mint 15 MATE highlights:
- some of the old technologies used by MATE have been replaced with newer ones: mateconf has been replaced with gsettings, matecorba and matecomponent has been replaced with dbus, matevfs has been replaced with gio/gvfs and matenotify has been replaced with libnotify;
- Caja, the default file manager, has received support for new thumbnailers, a new connect server dialog backported from Nautilus 3, improved sidebar and more;
- MPRIS v2 support;
- in case of a crash, mate-settings-daemon is now able to recover and it is automatically restarted by mate-session;
- the MATE panel Window List now supports middle click to close windows and the Workspace Switcher has option to wrap around between workspaces with the mouse wheel;
- new options in MATE Control Center to enable Macro compositing manager, fast alt-tab and more;
- the Notification Daemon now supports notifications that "never" expire" and there's a new option to allow users to specify on which screen the notifications should be displayed;
- mintDesktop and mintMenu have been migrated to the latest MATE 1.6
Linux Mint 15 MATE edition screenshots:
|Caja, the default MATE file manager|
|MATE Control Center|
|New MATE notification options|
Read more about MATE 1.6 (and Ubuntu installation instructions) in the following article: MATE 1.6 Released, Install It In Ubuntu [GNOME 2 Fork]
Download Linux Mint 15
Before downloading Linux Mint 15, make sure you read the known issues!